A: If you asked if it would be better to drink water that has been stored in glass containers rather than water that has been stored in plastic, I would say yes.
So, does that mean that it is dangerous to drink water that has been stored in plastic containers? Well, it really depends.
Components used in plastics such as bisphenol A (BPA), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE), tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) and phthalates are often fingered for disrupting hormonal function and balance.
These compounds may alter the metabolism or synthesis of endogenous hormones or act as competitive inhibitors of endogenous hormones. Consequently, BPA, PBDE, TBBPA, and other similar chemicals are sometimes referred to as endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs).
While most commercially sold reusable plastic drink bottles are now made from BPA free materials making them a bit safer, one-time use plastic bottles may still contain BPA as well as other potentially harmful materials.
How do those materials get from the bottles into the water you drink?
It boils down to (or up to) one word--- heat.
Researchers from the University of Florida observed the effects that heat exposure had on 16 different types of plastic water bottles. Bottles were exposed to temperatures of 158 degrees Fahrenheit (70o C ) for a four-week period.
Increases in BPA levels as well as antimony (an element considered to be carcinogenic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization) were seen over time.
What you should be aware of is that it didn’t take four weeks of exposure to temperatures of 158 degrees to trigger this leaching. Researchers found that water stored at 77 degrees Fahrenheit (250 C) also exhibited changes in BPA and antimony concentrations. This was evident after one week of storage at this temperature.
Previous studies had investigated the leaching of BPA into foods and liquids after exposure to temperatures of 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius). This new study more closely represents conditions that your water may be exposed to.
What does this mean for you?
If you are going to stock up on one-time use plastic bottles of water, be sure to store them in a cool place; avoid leaving them in the car or hot garage.
If you are running errands and have a bottle of water in the car, it may be best not to leave it in the car. If you do leave it in the hot car, be sure to toss it out rather than drinking it.
You will also want to read up on the influence that plastic may be having on your transformation.
You may be surprised to learn that there is there a link between plastic and your hormones.
Ying-Ying Fan, Jian-Lun Zheng, Jing-Hua Ren, Jun Luo, Xin-Yi Cui, Lena Q. Ma. Effects of storage temperature and duration on release of antimony and bisphenol A from polyethylene terephthalate drinking water bottles of China. Environmental Pollution, 2014; 192: 113